The Rockefeller Foundation and Unreasonable Institute announced today the winners of a $1 million urban innovation challenge to develop scalable solutions to complex urban problems facing poor or vulnerable people across the country. The 10 winners , including EveryoneOn, are tackling an array of challenges through unique and varied solutions. "In the country that invented the internet, more than 60 million people in the United States still don't have the internet in their homes which limits access to jobs, education and other critical services," said Chike Aguh, EveryoneOn's chief executive officer. "Through the Future Cities Accelerator and the support from The Rockefeller Foundation and Unreasonable Institute, EveryoneOn will be able to narrow the digital divide and bring this critical resource to vulnerable communities around the country."
The winners of the Future Cities Accelerator will each receive $100,000 to help scale their solutions and will participate in a nine-month intensive program giving them access to national business leaders, investors and technical support to help develop and grow their initiatives.
More than 600 individuals began the process to apply for The Future Cities Accelerator and 314 proposals were completed. Applicants came in from dozens of cities including San Francisco, Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Austin, New York City and many more. After three months of intensive proposal review, phone interviews and in-person visits to applicants, ten winners were selected. The ten selected winners are from New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, the Bay Area, Denver, Boston and Baltimore and are focusing on challenges in the education, health, connectivity, food waste, and affordable housing sectors.
“For this program, we received 314 applications, we reviewed each of the applications, conducted two rounds of interviews with the candidates that were the best fit, and personally visited the operations of each of the organizations we selected for this program; speaking to their funders, boards, teams, and beneficiaries,” said Teju Ravilochan, co-founder and CEO of Unreasonable Institute. “We are blown away by the rigor of thinking and the caliber of execution of the 10 organizations we will now have the privilege to support. They are already collectively benefitting millions of lives in significant ways and we hope to help them get the support they need to reach millions more.”
“The problems facing the 21st century are incredibly complex and interconnected—nowhere is this more visible than in our cities and the poor or vulnerable people within them. Our 10 selected winners are already making a difference through their innovative solutions to these challenges,” said Josh Murphy, associate director at The Rockefeller Foundation. “It is our hope that this challenge has encouraged and inspired next generation leaders to look differently at the problems facing our world today, and that our winners now have the resources and tools they need to grow their promising solutions.”